The major biological pesticide for the control of insect infestations of crops, Bacillus thuringiensis was found to be present naturally within cotton plants from fields that had never been treated with commercial formulations of this bacterium. The ability of B. thuringiensis to colonize plants as an endophyte was further established by the introduction of a strain marked by production of green fluorescent protein (GFP). After inoculation of this preparation close to the roots of cotton and cabbage seedlings, GFP-marked bacteria could be re-isolated from all parts of the plant, having entered the roots and migrated through the xylem. Leaves taken from the treated plants were able to cause toxicity when fed to the Lepidoptera Spodoptera frugiperda (cotton) and Plutella xylostella (cabbage). These results open up new horizons for understanding the natural ecology and evolution of B. thuringiensis and use of B. thuringiensis in insect control.
Bibliographical noteJournal compilation © 2009 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. No claim to original Brazilian government works.
- Bacillus thuringiensis/growth & development
- Lepidoptera/drug effects
- Plant Leaves/microbiology
- Plant Roots/microbiology
- Survival Analysis